Dorothy (Ellsworth) Van Elsen passed away peacefully in her sleep March 11, 2019. A funeral service will take place at a later date. Memorials to the Howard Street Christian Church or the Park Centre Good Samaritan Fund may be left at the Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory.
Dorothy was born in the Colfax Sanitarium Jan. 14, 1918, to Arthur Earl and Ida (Brown) Ellsworth. She was the valedictorian of her class when she graduated from Colfax High School in 1936. Dorothy was united in marriage to Lucien Van Elsen June 25, 1936, at the Colfax Christian Church. She spent the first 80 years of her life in Colfax and had deep roots in the community. She and her husband spent 15 winters in Harlingen, Texas. Dorothy had lived for the past 21 years at Park Centre in Newton.
Dorothy was a homemaker and loving mother to her eight children. She was involved with Colfax Senior Citizens and Christian Church activities. She enjoyed reading, gardening, canning, crocheting and traveling. Dorothy had a sharp wit and sense of humor and was making her own decisions to the very end of her life.
Dorothy is survived by her eight children, Lucien (Karen) Van Elsen, Jean (Max) Wallace, Helen (John Grannis) Reitan, Henry (Linda) Van Elsen, Robert (Connie) Van Elsen, James (Beth) Van Elsen, Lynda (Denny) Brouwer and Larry Van Elsen; her sister, Rosa Lee Sutton; 14 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; 16 great-great-grandchildren; many step-grandchildren; and by people who have “adopted” her as mom and grandma. She was preceded in death by her father in 1958; mother in 1995; her husband, Lucien in 1994; brother, Norman Earl Ellsworth who was killed in the Battle of Okinawa in 1945 during WWII; sister, Florence Bernice in 1927; and sister, Clara Ann Ellsworth Breckenridge in 2012.